Monday, April 9, 2012

1 Trail Down 9 to Go- Arab Lake Gorge Loop

1 trail down 9 to go;-)

(see trail info at the bottom of this post or here).

When I informed my daughter that we would be going to Frontenac Park  after I finished up some work the first thing she asked me was if that was the park near the Go-Carts or batting cages? I told her neither and she informed me that if it was a walking park she didn't want to go, "Walking is boring". I knew there was no way to convince her that walking on a trail was more exciting then go-carting but knew she would join me anyways even if she'd be moaning about it the entire way there. Luckily after I informed her that there would be some preparing to do ie. pack water for the dog and drinks and a snack for us she perked up immediately and began getting things together. She is my little organizer afterall and likes to do things like that and it was the turning point I was hoping for. Still as we drove further away for our little village and hence much further away from the "Big City" and the go-carts she did manage to point out to me that the drive time to the trails was about equal to the drive time to the go-carts.

I had been to Frontenac Park before in the winter for a snowshoe race a few times but things looked alot different now with the snow gone. Everything was locked up for the Easter Monday holiday so we looked around for maps and found the entrance of two of the shorter trails in the Park which luckily began right beside the Office. I was hoping she would opt for Doe Lake Loop, the longer of the two trails, which at 3km would be a doable distance for her and Brady however after noting the 1.5km distance of the Arab Lake Gorge Loop, Rhiannon wanted to get this walking thing over with ASAP and headed down the trail running. Leaving me with the dog, the backpack of snacks she packed(enough for an all day hike at that) and my rather large camera I grudgingly had no choice but to follow behind her before she got swallowed up by the trees never to be seen again. "Slow down", I called to her as she trotted down the long and winding boardwalk into the interior of the park. I must say I was amazed at the boardwalk which had been built so that we could go to a part of the park we might not be able to enjoy otherwise.

After stopping for a snack(yes, I was informed it was snack and water time for after only 5mins) she was off again, stopping briefly to look at the beaver's dam where soon after the boardwalk ended and it was clear dirt trail from there on in. I, still with the supplies of the day and dog could hear myself calling, "Stay on the trail", "Don't climb those rocks", "Get out of the tree", "No, don't walk on the downed log, or up that cliff ". After listening to myself for 5 minutes or so I realized she was having a blast and I was being a big party pooper at her party. 
OK hiking is fun, why did I think hiking was so serious. Stay on the trail, go off the trail, eat when your not hungry, climb an old rotten tree that might not be able to hold your weight, what could go wrong? So I bit my tongue, hoped she wouldn't break her arm, or neck, scrape her shin or stub her toe because I knew if she did any of those things that the odds of getting her out on that trail again would be less then even, maybe 1 out of 4. So I had to play my cards well, cheer her when she made it to the top of that cliff and hold my breathe as she slid on her ass down to the bottom.

I have no idea how long it took us to walk all of 1.5km. Perhaps 45 min to an hour but we popped out at the Park Office building without a scrape between us and Little Miss "Walking is Boring" was beaming from her accomplishment. She couldn't believe how the trail was more like an obstacle course then a boring walk in a regular park. I kinda felt bad for the dog who had to stay on his leash and watch his sister enjoy herself to no end. Sure I could have pushed her to take on another loop or trail but I thought ending it on this high note, not pushing her into doing more then we had planned was the perfect end to the first trip of what I hope will be many for both of us this year to Frontenac Park.









Arab Lake Gorge Loop DONE
•Loop distance: 1.5 km
•Distance from the Park Office: 0 km
•Approximate time to complete: 40 minutes


This loop is serviced by and extensive boardwalk and gives visitors an excellent close up look at the flora and fauna of the Arab Lake Gorge.


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Arkon Lake Loop
•Loop distance: 13 km
•Distance from the Park Office: 1.6 km
•Approximate time to complete: 3-5 hrs


This loop occurs on the west of the Park. It features excellent views of Arkon and Birch Lakes and their adjacent forested hills. This loop also includes the Arkon Lake Bog, a fine example of a ring Bog.


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Big Salmon Lake Loop
•Loop distance: 19 km
•Distance from the Park Office: 3.3 km
•Approximate time to complete: 5-7 hrs


This loop goes completely around the shoreline of Big Salmon Lake. The trail features the shoreline forest and cliffs of the lake and includes several lookouts.


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Cedar Lake Loop
•Loop distance: 15 km
•Distance from the Park Office: 1.6 km
•Approximate time to complete: 4-6 hrs


This loop features the largest complex of wetlands within the park. All phases of wetland as well as ridge succession are evident along this trail.


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Doe Lake Loop
•Loop distance: 3.0 km
•Distance from the Park Office: 0 km
•Approximate time to complete: 1-2 hrs


This loop skirts two beaver ponds, climbs to a spectacular lookout over Doe Lake and returns along the shore of Otter Lake. The trail explores some of the landforms found in the southern zone of Frontenac Provincial Park.


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Hemlock/Gibson Lake Loop
•Loop distance: 11 km
•Distance from the Park Office: 7.5 km
•Approximate time to complete: 3-5 hrs


This loop follows the original route of an old logging road for part of its length. The trail examines the geology of the Hardwood Bay area on Devil Lake. The site of an old logging shanty near Hemlock Lake and a log cabin on Hardwood Bay are also featured.


Note that there is a little confusion about this loop. On the trail the signs refer to this loop as the Gibson Lake Loop (11 km). Hemlock Lake Loop (6 km) is a small loop around the circumference of Hemlock Lake as shown on the sample map. At the Park Office, the Hemlock Lake Loop refers to a combination of the Gibson and Hemlock Lake loops. Confused?


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Little Clear Lake Loop
•Loop distance: 9 km
•Distance from the Park Office: 6.5 km
•Approximate time to complete: 3-6 hrs


This loop examines the sites of several abandoned homesteads developed in the 19th century in the area of Little Clear Lake.


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Little Salmon Lake Loop
•Loop distance: 15 km
•Distance from the Park Office: 2 km
•Approximate time to complete: 3-5 hrs


This trail explores the area of the park around Little Salmon Lake and features an excellent view of Moulton Gorge.


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Slide Lake Loop
•Loop distance: 21 km
•Distance from the Park Office: 3.3 km
•Approximate time to complete: 6-8 hrs


This loop is located in the most rugged part of the Park. The trail crosses Labelle Gorge and passes a series of waterfalls which drop 16 metres from Slide Lake to Buck Lake. This loop features an excellent view of Mink and Camel Lakes and the ridge and trough landscape of this area of the Park.


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Tetsmine Loop
•Loop distance: 12 km
•Distance from the Park Office: 8.6 km
•Approximate time to complete: 4-6 hrs

This loop explore an area typical of the Park's northern zone. Marble ridges, rock outcrop and mature deciduous forests are featured. This loop also examines man's influence in the area. Portions of an old log slide, abandoned mica mines and the remains of the McNally homestead on Kingsford Lake are evident along the trail.

3 comments:

Derrick said...

Sounds like a fun outing. Arab and Doe are great introductions to the park. You see a very large part of what the park has to offer in a relatively short period of time.

Wonderful playground, and a nice alternative to go carts.

Derrick said...

There is a large rock only a few minutes down Doe Lake Loop that is great for climbing and practising bouldering skills. We spent probably an hour taking turns trying t climb it once with Brennan and Heather.

EJ said...

the boulder sounds like fun. Can't wait;-)